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aidanmaz
22-07-2007, 12:30 PM
i have a acer aspire 3680 which came with Windows XP, i have seriously thought about jumping to Linux, Would this be a good idea?
I have had no experience using any other OS apart from Windows i need something that is generally faster than XP

Any ideas?
Cheers

Speedy Gonzales
22-07-2007, 12:38 PM
Linux should be ok for it, (it maybe faster), just hope you've got the patience and time to configure Linux.

Once its installed. Altho this may depend on what Linux OS you put on it.

Some things arent that easy to install let alone configure.

aidanmaz
22-07-2007, 12:41 PM
i dont mind learning, if i like linux enough i might go over completely. whats the best distro.......is the one on the PC world DVD any good?

chiefnz
22-07-2007, 12:56 PM
Yeah the one on the PCW DVD is all good.

There are heaps out there.

If you just want to have a play initially, have a go with a live CD version of a Linux distro, then after that see if your still keen to give it a permanent go.

Cheers

SurferJoe46
22-07-2007, 12:59 PM
I like Ubuntu and Mepis..and don't ask me how I got them working..they are still a big mystery to me.

Somehow...I got Mepis to run as my server and I just leave it alone doing it's job nicely. I say "somehow" because making it work is still a big mystery to me..I hate writing lines of commands that I don't understand and somehow I just did it.

I used to write code in fig~FORTH and COBOL, but Linux is still a whole 'nuther experience....and so far a bad experience.

Maybe you should go learn Egyptian hieroglyphics in Deutsch easier.

I have no other experience in L-based systems, so what I say is not a good tech answer I know.

But it works for me.

I am still not convinced that Linux is a good system..you get short-armed when you ask the geek-y types a question like they are all insulted or whatever.

There are some really good people here who run it successfully, but if you can't rent them personally and have them stay at your home to teach you things, you'll stumble on in the dark for a long time I feel.

Other forums will shun you, and hey..you'll get shunned by some shallow people anywhere..but that's just because they're immature and like to keep Linux all secret.

Until Linux gets friendlier and/or they send people to your home to instruct you how to use it...you'll get angry and prolly lose interest in the system in the end.

If I didn't accidentally get mine running, I'd be using something else as my server.

Flames coming! Get ready! There are "people" who hate this sort of revelation...just wait and see!



Keep a dual-boot system until you actually get all your adult teeth in Linux though.

aidanmaz
22-07-2007, 01:04 PM
Or i could Virtual machine it using Vmware's Workstation 6

then just image the virtual machine as a real one

Shortcircuit
22-07-2007, 03:07 PM
I'd have to agree with SJ- I tried Linux a year or 2 ago and disaster ensued :(

I had another go last week just because I'm bloody-minded, downloaded MandrivaLive, it would go ok run from the CD but would not install to HD no matter what I did and what HD I did it with (bit of a waste of 900 odd mb download).

I updated Suse (which I had tried before) and it's still a dog.

I downloaded Mepis, which was the closest to ok.

Not one of these distros comes close to Windows XP for useability. There are still wild variations in what hardware they will detect and run and the Nvidia graphics controls are still rudimentary. I also had difficulties with text clarity using an LCD monitor, just not up to scratch.

One of my really big grumbles with the linux install method I noticed this time is that you really do not know what you are downloading... it just seems to be enless mbs of crap to achieve one small 'update'.

Doing anything in Linux is so convoluted that you end up feeling dizzy and have go have a cuppa and a lie down :horrified

My advice- if you have heaps of time free, you enjoy reading instructions that are (still) incomplete, love using a command line because it is the only way you can install something, enjoy being 'looked down upon' when asking for the answers to the 'missing links' and want to end up with an operating system that is never going to be as advanced as Windows or Apple (did I say that???)... then go for it, it can't hurt- much.:thumbs:

I sooo wanted to ditch Windows too.

But now well, I'm over it.

Yorick
22-07-2007, 03:27 PM
i have a acer aspire 3680 which came with Windows XP, i have seriously thought about jumping to Linux, Would this be a good idea?
I have had no experience using any other OS apart from Windows i need something that is generally faster than XP

Any ideas?
Cheers

I run free classes in the Auckland CBD every business monday from 7 to 8.30 am that mainly focus on OpenOffice on SLED 10. But they're pretty casual and flexible so doing Linux installs would fit within the parameters. :)
SLED 10 DVDs provided for free! :)

Pop me a mail via my profile for more details.

Cheers

winmacguy
22-07-2007, 03:49 PM
My advice- if you have heaps of time free, you enjoy reading instructions that are (still) incomplete, love using a command line because it is the only way you can install something, enjoy being 'looked down upon' when asking for the answers to the 'missing links' and want to end up with an operating system that is never going to be as advanced as Windows or Apple (did I say that???)... then go for it, it can't hurt- much.:thumbs:


A very interesting perspective there Shortcircuit.

I am of the impression that as good as the various distros of Linux are, they will always remain the the realm of tech nerds and software geeks who enjoy having the freedom of access to a system that lets them tweak and fiddle to their hearts content. Meanwhile Windows will remain the system that the masses are required to use while Apple will be the system for those who want something they can generally enjoy as it grows in its mainstream acceptance.

Shortcircuit
22-07-2007, 04:17 PM
I run free classes in the Auckland CBD every business monday from 7 to 8.30 am that mainly focus on OpenOffice on SLED 10. But they're pretty casual and flexible so doing Linux installs would fit within the parameters. :)
SLED 10 DVDs provided for free! :)

Pop me a mail via my profile for more details.

Cheers

That sounds by far the most sensible suggestion I've heard... definitely a bonus if you can talk to other 'linux users' face to face and get SLED for free on disc. In case you're totally lost about what Yorick said- it's Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop... but that will be the least of the anacronyms that you will have to worry about :eek:

SurferJoe46
22-07-2007, 04:37 PM
Yup..that's it...acronyms!

Ya get so many new things to learn..and they don't make it easy either.

The "lingo" that Linux users have implemented make it so hard to understand...and I don't think there's a decent dictionary on the terms, the reasons for using or needing the command lines, what they actually do and what mayhem you are installing when you hit the ENTER button.

It kinda like disarming an amateur atomic bomb: "Now...what color wire do I cut next"?

If I ever decide to play again with trying to learn it, I am going to use an old Dell Dimension 750 tower (P-III) and just let it BSOD or whatever color the death warning is in Linux until one of two things happens:

1) I throw the Dell out the window in total exasperation...unfortunately that's only a few feet to the ground from all my windows here.

2) I die first.

Seems every thing you do in Linux is a steep learning experience. Make that a "vertical" learning experience. Every Linux CD-ROM should come with a geek in the box. :nerd:

I DO wish I could figger it out though...it looks like a lot of fun.

Erayd
22-07-2007, 04:37 PM
One of the biggest problems new users have with Linux is that it's not windows! While you can quite happily do most of the same tasks, these are often done in different ways - there is a learning curve. Linux is not just a free version of Windows!

Regarding the issue of support - most (although no all; unfortunately there are exceptions) knowledgable Linux users will be willing to help you. However, you will be expected to make a reasonable attempt to help yourself first - they have better things to do than spoonfeed you information that you could find for yourself with a couple of quick Google searches, or a brief peek at the manual.

Remember that unlike Windows or OSX, you do not (usually) have a consumer's right to demand support if things don't work as they are supposed to.

With that out of the way, in my opinion Linux is brilliant - and it certainly fits my needs far better than any other OS I have tried (although admittedly I am a geek :rolleyes:). It's customisable beyond any other OS available, and has a vast selection of powerful software - most of it free. Software installation is usually utterly painless - where in Windows one would run a program installer, in Linux you can achieve the same end with one simple command. If you're the GUI type, fire up one of the many graphical package managers available - just tick one box on the list next to what you want installed, and click the 'Apply' button. A few strange and magical things will take care of themselves, and suddenly the software is installed - it's as easy as that.

Possibly one of the most important things you will ever learn about Linux is the existance of so-called 'man pages'. Man pages (manual pages) contain the documentation for almost every program or utility you are ever likely to use, and are usually automatically installed at the same time as the program they describe.

Assuming you want to find the manual for a program called 'pidgin', type 'man pidgin' at the command line. This will bring up the manual. If you're a sucker for a nice GUI, fire up konqueror and type '#pidgin' or 'man:/pidgin' in the address bar - this will display the manpage in a browser-like interface from within konqueror. There are also several other programs capable of displaying and working with mangapes.

Suddenly, you'll find one of the snags - the documentation seems to be missing a lot of information... The reason for this is that most developers hate writing documentation. The manual(s) will usually contain only the things that basic common-sense and a bit of experimentation won't reveal - and some rely more on the experimentation than others. If you encounter this problem, try looking at any built-in help feature the program may contain, or look at the program's website - a lot of the more detailed documentation is kept online.

The next place to turn (or the first place if you're having a problem with something) is Google. There are countless thousands of help forums, howtos, guides, FAQs etc on Linux, and if you are having a problem the odds are highly likely that someone before you has also experienced the same issue, and has written about it. Most of the time, a quick glance through the top results will contain a solution to your problem or query, often with step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish your goal.

Google wasn't any good? Now you've reached the 'asking for help' stage. There are several ways to go about this, the most common of which are posting on a help forum, or asking for help in one of the numerous IRC support channels - most of these channels are on the Freenode (http://freenode.org/) IRC network.

These are some common conventions to follow when asking for help through either of these mediums:

Don't ask if you can ask for help. The whole reason these forums / channels exist is for helping people, so just go ahead and post your question.

Keep it concise. Don't go off on a long ramble, but make sure you include all relevant information.

Include all relevant detail. Nothing is more annoying than a post says 'Help me, it broke!' without answering these questions:
What is broken?
In what way is it broken?
What were you doing when it broke?
What error(s), if any, were reported?
You should also detail which 'distribution' you are running, and which desktop environment if applicable (KDE/Gnome/something else). If you can, ask on a forum / channel specific to your distro, as you are likely to get more relevant answers. Depending on your question, you may also need to include additional information.


Another avenue you can pursue for help is to join your local Linux User Group (LUG). They should be able to answer most questions you may have, and you will learn a lot.

Depending on his / her inclination, you may also be able to approach your 'local geek', however before doing this please bear in mind that you are probably not the only person asking him / her questions!

There are also several excellent Linux geeks who reside here in PressF1, who will be more than willing to answer your questions. :D :rolleyes:

Myth
22-07-2007, 04:41 PM
I am still not convinced that Linux is a good system..you get short-armed when you ask the geek-y types a question like they are all insulted or whatever.

There are some really good people here who run it successfully, but if you can't rent them personally and have them stay at your home to teach you things, you'll stumble on in the dark for a long time I feel.

Other forums will shun you, and hey..you'll get shunned by some shallow people anywhere..but that's just because they're immature and like to keep Linux all secret.

Until Linux gets friendlier and/or they send people to your home to instruct you how to use it...you'll get angry and prolly lose interest in the system in the end.

If I didn't accidentally get mine running, I'd be using something else as my server.

Flames coming! Get ready! There are "people" who hate this sort of revelation...just wait and see!



Keep a dual-boot system until you actually get all your adult teeth in Linux though.My only comment to this is: Where were you asking for help Joe?

Not one of these distros comes close to Windows XP for useability. There are still wild variations in what hardware they will detect and run and the Nvidia graphics controls are still rudimentary. I also had difficulties with text clarity using an LCD monitor, just not up to scratch.

One of my really big grumbles with the linux install method I noticed this time is that you really do not know what you are downloading... it just seems to be enless mbs of crap to achieve one small 'update'.

Doing anything in Linux is so convoluted that you end up feeling dizzy and have go have a cuppa and a lie down :horrified

My advice- if you have heaps of time free, you enjoy reading instructions that are (still) incomplete, love using a command line because it is the only way you can install something, enjoy being 'looked down upon' when asking for the answers to the 'missing links' and want to end up with an operating system that is never going to be as advanced as Windows or Apple (did I say that???)... then go for it, it can't hurt- much.:thumbs:

I sooo wanted to ditch Windows too.

But now well, I'm over it.Grumble grumble grumble. This is about the 5th time I've watched you ***** on in this forum about your experience with Linux. Get over it.
What you and other windows users (not to mention mac zealots) tend to forget is that windows and os x have had millions of dollars thrown at them to make them more user friendly and idiot-proof by Micro$hit and crAPPLE. Linux is completely open source, and completely free, with people offering their coding services for free. Of course its not going to be like os x or vista or any other paid for OS. So quit comparing apples (no pun intended) with pears

Shortcircuit
22-07-2007, 04:56 PM
Nah- I'm just telling it like it is. I'm not the world's biggest fan of MSoft either and definitely not Apple.

If I had my choice I would ditch Windows for Linux tomorrow and that is the reason that I have just spent a week downloading/installing/trying out different flavours of Linux... not to mention a few gigs of bandwidth.

The fact is there is still too much wrong with Linux (or at least any of the distros I have looked at) to use in the 'real world'.

I'll also say this Myth and I couldn't give a stuff if I get banned-

Stick to being polite, or at least civil. You only make yourself appear childish :mad:

Yorick
22-07-2007, 05:01 PM
I'd have to agree with SJ- I tried Linux a year or 2 ago and disaster ensued :(

I had another go last week just because I'm bloody-minded, downloaded MandrivaLive, it would go ok run from the CD but would not install to HD no matter what I did and what HD I did it with (bit of a waste of 900 odd mb download).

I updated Suse (which I had tried before) and it's still a dog.

I've been using OpenSuSE and SLED10 both in business and at home now for about 3 or 4 years and it hasn't barked at me once ;), or got a virus, or died because of "critical updates", or not been able to do any of the things that I require of a good Desktop Business operating system. It did however come with pretty much everything I needed out of the box. So there was no need to buy a myriad of applications to produce content, to guard against Viruses and so forth. Windows, out of the box, is good for VIEWING content and not a lot else. The major Linux Distros allow you to PRODUCE high level sophistcated content, out of the box!




Not one of these distros comes close to Windows XP for useability.

Useability is a personal opinion thing, personally I find the the lack of multiple desktops just one of a number of limitations with Windows systems


There are still wild variations in what hardware they will detect and run and the Nvidia graphics controls are still rudimentary. I also had difficulties with text clarity using an LCD monitor, just not up to scratch.

That is down to NVidia's lousy drivers for Linux, but yes it is an issue, not so much with later cards even though, because they won't OpenSource their Drivers, you have to download from the NVidia site. This because NVidia's licensing doesn't allow the Distros to put the drivers on the disc/download. No big deal, they use a simple shell script. However this is an NVidia issue not a Linux one. Personally I stick with Intel or ATI, problem avoided.



One of my really big grumbles with the linux install method I noticed this time is that you really do not know what you are downloading... it just seems to be enless mbs of crap to achieve one small 'update'.

You have to remember that your Distro's update is updating ALL the software on your computer, not just the OS, hence it will possibly take a little longer. The "recent updates" that occurs during install is the same as doing ALL critical updates on all the software on your XP box at the same time, it would probably be a similar struggle.



Doing anything in Linux is so convoluted that you end up feeling dizzy and have go have a cuppa and a lie down :horrified

It is true that is not dumbed down like it is in Windows so there is a little more work involved, however you have to remember again you are installing ALL of your productivity software at the same time as your OS. With Windows installing the OS is just the start. Interestingly in my experience installing a base Linux Distro with all the attensant productivity software such as SLED10, is quicker than installing a bare bones XP


My advice- if you have heaps of time free, you enjoy reading instructions that are (still) incomplete, love using a command line because it is the only way you can install something,

That is patently incorrect. Installation tools such as Apt-Get, YUM and YOU make software installation in a linux environment easier than on windows. In YAST especially you can register software repositories and installation is a breeze, and while I'm not a Debian afficianado I believe that Apt-Get is just as good. The Windows installer method is just different... and we won't mention Vista here.


enjoy being 'looked down upon' when asking for the answers to the 'missing links'

I don't know that this was ever true, certainly not in my experience and I am certainly not a Geek, just a simple end-user. In fact most Linux people are very helpful, but without knowing a person it's very hard to know at which level to pitch any help. That can lead to misunderstanding.


.....and want to end up with an operating system that is never going to be as advanced as Windows or Apple (did I say that???)... then go for it, it can't hurt- much.:thumbs:

Heh In fact the Linux desktop has scurried way past XP, is beyond Vista in a lot of areas and future developments are even more exciting. Check out Looking Glass (https://lg3d.dev.java.net/)and it will even run on windows. Whenever I show people my SLED10 they just go "WOW, Windows can't do that?" and they're surprised when you tell them that not even Vista can do it.



I sooo wanted to ditch Windows too.

But now well, I'm over it.

:) It is in your hands. Monday mornings (except holidays) 7 am in the Auckland CBD, I'd be happy to help.

Myth
22-07-2007, 05:02 PM
Nah- I'm just telling it like it is. I'm not the world's biggest fan of MSoft either and definitely not Apple.

If I had my choice I would ditch Windows for Linux tomorrow and that is the reason that I have just spent a week downloading/installing/trying out different flavours of Linux... not to mention a few gigs of bandwidth.

The fact is there is still too much wrong with Linux (or at least any of the distros I have looked at) to use in the 'real world'.

I'll also say this Myth and I couldn't give a stuff if I get banned-

Stick to being polite, or at least civil. You only make yourself appear childish I was being polite

Incidentally, there are a lot of linux users in auckland, many on this forum from that area. Ever considered hooking up with one of them on a free weekend and getting them to teach you how to install a (IMHO) real distro (Debian, Gentoo or maybe even Fedora)?

winmacguy
22-07-2007, 05:03 PM
What you and other windows users (not to mention mac zealots) tend to forget is that windows and os x have had millions of dollars thrown at them to make them more user friendly and idiot-proof by Micro$hit and crAPPLE.

Windows Vista had 9 billion thrown at it and 5+ years to make it more user friendly.... and most people are still waiting.

Apple does it in 1/3 of the time for a fraction of the cost.

Linux is a work in progress on the smell of an oily rag.

SurferJoe46
22-07-2007, 05:05 PM
Myth: I asked a few times and got really good answers from those of you who know and you know who you are too.

Thanks for the help..seriously!

BUT..somehow I muddled through the install from the LIVE cds in Mepis and Ubuntu, and just accidentally got them to run and that's where I am leaving them ..they work and I am exceedingly happy for that....

I never use a VM...I went straight for it, and Jen knows I lost a full two or three 250g hdds that way too with trying to dual-boot Mepis and XP.. Phhhht! Gone in a nanosecond! All that music and videos.

I leaned humility and how to grieve too. My eyes got a little slanted too.

But for the life of me I cannot really say what it was that I did that was good, right and profitable in getting them to run successfully.

My Mepis server runs well, interfaces with XP, sends vids and MP3s to my home theater, which I feel is quite an accomplishment!

I have my whole vid library on that server, and as of yet I have not backed things up except for the actual ownership of the original dvds and cds. (US law, that is).

I am frankly...AMAZED that I could stumble so blindly and get it to run...maybe speaking German, Yiddish, some Spanish and having programmed in COBOL and figFORTH helped a little, but I seriously don't see how. Perhaps the car and motorcycle accidents that scrambled my head also helped a little.

Maybe the Sanskrit lessons finally paid off too.

It was all a big crapshoot and in the end when it ran I just stopped tweaking and tuning any further.

No..I don't accuse anyone HERE of haughty attitudes in L-based systems..not in the least!

OTHER sites had the upturned snoots and they answered my questions with cold indifference..and I got so angry...remember that I am in a different timezone and my days are your nights..so I was remiss in being impatient and needing info THEN and NOW when I was all mucked up in L.

There never was any slight meant toward F1 and youse guys...sorry if it came off that way!!! Really!!!

Yorick
22-07-2007, 05:14 PM
That sounds by far the most sensible suggestion I've heard... definitely a bonus if you can talk to other 'linux users' face to face and get SLED for free on disc. In case you're totally lost about what Yorick said- it's Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop... but that will be the least of the anacronyms that you will have to worry about :eek:

Oop yes, my apologies for that and I'm usually the one ranting about acronym dropping! Hate them. Heh but that's a thing not confined to Linux, Windows people are as bad.

Foe those who are unsure: SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop is the commercial version of OpenSuSE. It is Novell's Enterprise level Desktop product. The DVD's are "Evaluation" Versions. "Evaluation" in the Commercial OpenSource model means that Automatic updates are available for 3 months for free. After that you pay a subscription but if you don't, it doesn't matter, the software will still keep on working unlike closed source "trial" versions.

Shortcircuit
22-07-2007, 05:18 PM
Thanks Yorick- you might be surprised, but I do appreciate the offer and I hope that Aidianz takes you up on it.

I must admit that I should have known what I was getting into as it's not the 1st time I looked at Linux. We also looked at changing over our desktops to Linux as we already run Linux backends. The consensus was from the IT guys 'don't do it- Linux ain't there yet'

I looked at Linux this time purely from a 'what can it do compared to Windows XP/Vista' and 'how easy compared to XP/Vista' is it to use.

Unfortunately for me it fell short and was just not worth the time to get it going properly. The Video issues were pretty much the last straw. I had to install Nvidia control panel stuff through the command line, but like last time all the instructions were either incorrect or incomplete and I spent days trawling (maybe trolling) around forums and wikis trying to find answers.

I had heard that SLED was pretty good and maybe mistakenly thought that an updated plain old Suse would be a close runner up, but it didn't seem much more advanced than the version (10.1?) that I tried a year ago.

I still have high hopes for 'open source' software- like OO. My end argument is that it doesn't need to be free, but it needs to be good and OO wins on both counts. Maybe one day there will be a Linux distro that I can say the same about.

Yorick
22-07-2007, 06:05 PM
Yup..that's it...acronyms!

Ya get so many new things to learn..and they don't make it easy either.

Actually, many try, it's difficult however when you're doing stuff for free to produce manuals and such because media costs.


The "lingo" that Linux users have implemented make it so hard to understand...and I don't think there's a decent dictionary on the terms, the reasons for using or needing the command lines, what they actually do and what mayhem you are installing when you hit the ENTER button.

The saviour is Wikipedia. Linux people like to tell people about this cool stuff and it doesn't cost anything to do it on Wikipedia. Just enter the "lingo" into Wikipedia search and away you go.



It kinda like disarming an amateur atomic bomb: "Now...what color wire do I cut next"?


It's ALWAYS the red one!.......... No hang on... Was it: It's NEVER the red one!



If I ever decide to play again with trying to learn it, I am going to use an old Dell Dimension 750 tower (P-III) and just let it BSOD or whatever color the death warning is in Linux until one of two things happens:

1) I throw the Dell out the window in total exasperation...unfortunately that's only a few feet to the ground from all my windows here.

2) I die first.


OpenSuSE 10.2 can be bought as a boxed set with a Manual. Bang the DVD/CDin with a blank HD
reboot
keep hitting "next"
type in root password, keeping hitting next some more, type in network connection stuff, "next" some more wait (depending on network connection speed), "next" a few more times, type in Username and password, "next" a few more times click finish! Default Install Done! :) total elapsed time about an hour, not including downloading updates. If you want to skip the updates don't put in your net connection details. Or you can read the manual as you go!

The reason most people get screwed up is that they try to make it more complicated than needs to be. The defaults work! :)



Seems every thing you do in Linux is a steep learning experience. Make that a "vertical" learning experience. Every Linux CD-ROM should come with a geek in the box. :nerd:

I DO wish I could figger it out though...it looks like a lot of fun.

More than that, it's productive, from video through sound and Graphics, business and networking. The whole shamozzle.

Then after a while you screw with the CLI (Command Line Interface) and go "OOoo Cool" at which point you're hooked and you grow a propellor on your head.:lol:

Shortcircuit
22-07-2007, 06:09 PM
Aidanmaz- I was just reading Bletch's post and it jogged my memory of last time I tried Linux.

There is a Linux Users Group in Auckland, from memory they meet somewhere in the central city, so not too far from Te Atatu.

Jen is involved 'in some way', so I'm sure she can give you details of where/when they meet.

Jen
22-07-2007, 06:16 PM
I don't know what all the fuss is about with being forced to use the command line all the time. For a standard desktop home user, you would hardly have to use it. Heck, I installed Mepis after losing my Fedora hard drive because I wanted a quick fully functionally OS to get me going again. I actually kept Mepis for about 3 months before I started to feel like I was losing my Linux skills as I hadn't had to use the command line for that entire time! I went back to Fedora just to feel at home again (although I rarely use the command line for system stuff there anyway). :p

I know some of you have struggled with Linux, but to be fair you jumped right in and then attempted some advanced things that were performed purely by command line. Not a good introduction nor a fair representation of the average Linux experience.

aidanmaz> I say go for it. Pick a distro like SuSE or Mepis (or even Ubuntu/Kubuntu) and just play around with it, but do keep an open mind. Only way to find out if it will suit your needs. :)

Shortcircuit
22-07-2007, 06:25 PM
Yorick,

Can you tell me what the (main) differences are between Open Suse latest 10.2... I think I upgraded to and SLED?

I know I shouldn't ask... and I know I'm tempted to tempt fate again by giving it a go if you think it is so 'far ahead of Windows', but I have a spare HD spinning around. I'm just having trouble reconciling my recent experience with your experience :D

For instance, does SLED come with a different Control Centre? (ie not YAST) as Yast was a pain in the arse.

I actually looked around the Novell site and there is a dirth of actual info on what you get and what it can do (not getting at you or Novell, it's standard in computer land 'Sell the dream, not the substance').

The Nvidia control panel app for Linux was worse than useless, it doesn't matter to me if that was because of nvidia being 'tight' or not. I've got a good quality vid card, good quality LCD and I went with Nvidia because of the excellent colour control program (Nview) that they produce. There is nothing like it for ATI- I know as I have an ATI card in my laptop.

Sherman
22-07-2007, 06:57 PM
Shortcircuit: Have you ever tried PCLinuxOS?
It is a live CD based on Mandrivia linux. (you can of course choose to install it to the HDD)
It is a distro that gos out of its way to make hardware configuration easy/simple. If you need to do a task, chance are that you can do it with a couple of clicks from with its comprehensive control center.
It also has the best support for hardware that I have come across in linux so far.
It also includes problematic things like java plugins, and support for mp3 and windows media formats. Still no DVD support automatically, although a little side trip to synaptic package manager will see you right there...

Myth
22-07-2007, 08:00 PM
...getting them to teach you how to install a (IMHO) real distro (Debian, Gentoo or maybe even Fedora)?Apologies... when I posted this I should also have added that I have never tried SuSe (in any of its variants). Was given a dvd copy (of SuSe 10) but it would always crash before the install. Because I now use Gentoo, I havent really gone back to try it.
I have heard good things about Open SuSe in that it is a good distro for newish to linux people. But like I said, I have never used it (unlike XandrOS, Debian, FedoraCore, Arch, Mandriva, Mepis, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Knoppix, PCLOS - all of which I have used and liked/loathed to varying degrees)

johnd
22-07-2007, 09:55 PM
I have been using Linux in one form or another since 1998 and would not go back to Windows on my personal PC for anything. Admittedly there are times when it is harder to use than Windows -- but those times are getting far between (it is not just my experience but the fact that the GUI desktops are now mature products). You cannot make the blanket statement that "Linux is hard" - I know of a number of elderly users who are not experienced who have no problems using their Linux PCs for all they need to.

Yorick
22-07-2007, 10:09 PM
Thanks Yorick- you might be surprised, but I do appreciate the offer and I hope that Aidianz takes you up on it.

I must admit that I should have known what I was getting into as it's not the 1st time I looked at Linux. We also looked at changing over our desktops to Linux as we already run Linux backends. The consensus was from the IT guys 'don't do it- Linux ain't there yet'

Careful with consensus amongst IT guys:
Question is: What perspective are they coming from... IT Administrators or End Users

I do Migration consulting and training and invariably I find tthat what IT Guys fear most is HelpDesk Calls. They generally consider the "frontdesk" people only slightly above the level of Chimps whereas I find the opposite, it's just that IT guys often have crap skills when it comes giving to help the "Simple End Users". The reason that the SEU keep coming back is that they didn't understand the first time because nobody translated the Geekspeak, this is not just a Linux thing. I'm not a Geek or at least not a "Techno-geek" I'm a "Pedagogy-Geek"(Translate=Teacher) who has some IT skills. My job is doing that translation.

IT guys with Linux in the backend is no problem, because they can hack about and try things to solve problems or create solutions. Often, it's a trial and error thing. no loss other than a bit of time and IT managers understand that this often has to be the case. However that doesn't work for your FrontDesk staff. If they have a problem they need a solution first up and now, so the guy used to Linux in the back end with the usual "Hack it and see" approach, is not at his best in that situation.

Windows guys can generally do that, thats what MCSE, A+, etc trains them to do. The opensource paradigm can be it's own worst enemy. For instance, The AMES institute in Auckland is a PTE that is the official examiner for the Linux Professional Institute Certification. How many have sat LPIC level 1 & 2 over the past 3 years? Total: Zero, nobody wants to pay, even more so employers. Many are prepared to pay out considerable amounts for A+ and MCSE and so forth, but not it seems....

However the truth of the matter with regard to migration is that it is a lot easier than many make it out to be...
My recommendation for migration is usually a softly softly approach with lots of End User input, project mapping, change management processes and so on. However there have been some much more brutal and successful models:

Take a look at this guys experience (http://blog.lobby4linux.com/index.php?/archives/85-One-Small-Business-Gladly-Gives-Microsoft-the-Boot.html)


I looked at Linux this time purely from a 'what can it do compared to Windows XP/Vista' and 'how easy compared to XP/Vista' is it to use.

One of the great things about Linux is that you can make it as hard or as easy as you want. The GUI is a separate application to the OS so you can make it do or not do whatever you want. Make only specific applications available to End users for instance. Installing a Linux Distro with limited knowledge of the power of it all is probably a little counterproductive. Talk to someone who really knows it. Andreas Girardet at Enterprise IT on the Shore or Ian Soffe at OSS in Auckland are two that come to mind



Unfortunately for me it fell short and was just not worth the time to get it going properly. The Video issues were pretty much the last straw. I had to install Nvidia control panel stuff through the command line, but like last time all the instructions were either incorrect or incomplete and I spent days trawling (maybe trolling) around forums and wikis trying to find answers.

Ultimately there have to be substantially good reasons for changing. Doing it simply for the sake of it, isn't enough of a reason. The vast majority of my OOo training and migration work is on a Windows platform. It's one of the reasons I'm a fan of Novell. They have taken a pragmatic approach to interoperability... not exactly popular with the purists but hey... If the numbers stack up now and into the future, then go for it, if not then stay with the status quo..... < shameless plug >as long you're using OOo of course ;) < /shameless plug >


I had heard that SLED was pretty good and maybe mistakenly thought that an updated plain old Suse would be a close runner up, but it didn't seem much more advanced than the version (10.1?) that I tried a year ago.

10.2 is a good one



Can you tell me what the (main) differences are between Open Suse latest 10.2... I think I upgraded to and SLED?

I know I shouldn't ask... and I know I'm tempted to tempt fate again by giving it a go if you think it is so 'far ahead of Windows', but I have a spare HD spinning around. I'm just having trouble reconciling my recent experience with your experience

For instance, does SLED come with a different Control Centre? (ie not YAST) as Yast was a pain in the arse.

Heh, Unfortunately YAST (Yet Another Setup Tool) is still there. Yast is a Love/Hate thing. I used to hate it but have grown to like it. However I put that down to the fact that I was used to MCC (Mandrake Control Centre) Mandrake's GUI admin tool. Once I got the knack of YOU (Yast Online Update) I've become a fan


I actually looked around the Novell site and there is a dirth of actual info on what you get and what it can do (not getting at you or Novell, it's standard in computer land 'Sell the dream, not the substance').

Yep bloody annoying, however jumping into the OpenSuSE forums would be helpful.

The main difference is the inclusion of a lot of Novel apps that integrate SLED smoothly with other Novell products such as Netware, groupwise and OES. SLED does not include Server stuff, that's reserved for SLE Server 10, however the DVD packs I have, have both. The Server elements are in OpenSuSE. SLE has Novells Identity Management Software, I-folder and some security products. In short it is aimed directly at the Enterprise Market whereas OpenSuSE is aimed at the knowledgeable Homeuser/Small Business. OpenSuSE contains more bleeding edge stuff as well whereas SLE tends to stick to stable


The Nvidia control panel app for Linux was worse than useless, it doesn't matter to me if that was because of nvidia being 'tight' or not. I've got a good quality vid card, good quality LCD and I went with Nvidia because of the excellent colour control program (Nview) that they produce. There is nothing like it for ATI- I know as I have an ATI card in my laptop.

I have an ATI card on my Compaq Laptop and it runs almost all the highend graphical desktop stuff, ie: Transparent windows, Desktop cube, wobbly windows and so forth and it's pretty old, but yeah you're right the colour management tools aren't up there.


I still have high hopes for 'open source' software- like OO. My end argument is that it doesn't need to be free, but it needs to be good

I doubt that there is an OpenSource in Business advocate that would not agree with that sentiment. The fact that some serious Corporates with serious money see the value in OpenSource goes to prove that it is happening. The list of Corporate contributors to OOo is a good measure. Sun, Novell, Intel, IBM, Redhat, Canonical to name a few. At the end of the day it comes down to choice.


and OO wins on both counts. Maybe one day there will be a Linux distro that I can say the same about.

Heh, well IMHO, if you talking in a business... :)

Shortcircuit
22-07-2007, 11:29 PM
Thanks for that quite reasoned reply Yorick... my eyes did glaze over right after the mention of IT though :p

Your explanation could partly explain why our IT guys will happily sit there all day coding on Linux boxes, but start shaking at the thought of mere mortals with their own linux to break. The funny thing is that I am the 'go-between' telling them how their coding should work in the real world!

I can hear Jen chanting: "Repeat after me, The command line is my friend... the command line is my friend" :p

Jen, the problem that I have found (both times I tried Linux) is that to get it anywhere near the functionality of XP I had to use the command line, and both times the proceedure/instructions listed in forums/wikis were incomplete and had gaps... in other words it was not possible to follow those instructions from beginning to end. This is called 'Setting yourself up for failure without even trying'.

Should it always be with Linux that the thing you require it to do the most is made the hardest thing to do? Have a look at the unzip thread and you just might get the idea :)

I honestly looked at the result after a week of more or less full-time 'hands on with Linux' and thought that there was no way any of the distros I tried would be useable long term and I hadn't got as far as thinking about more specialised software that I use every day in Windows (It takes me back to the horror that was attempting to install wine, which I noticed was actually included with 1 distro this time!).

To me it's like taking a car for a test drive- you know instinctively it's never going to last the distance if you buy it, but would be perfect for someone else :D

My advice to Aidanmaz is to give it a go as well, it seems some people 'click' with Linux- or more precisely certain flavours of Linux, so try a few different distros if you can (Simply Mepis came closest for me).

Be aware that unless you go to Yorick's course, you will probably have to dowload your own Distros (usually around 600-700mb, but up to 4gig for 'complete' DVD versions with additional programs) and burn them to CD as ISOs (you will need a CD burning program such as Nero that can do ISO files). You will also have to figure out the correct distro/file to download from the download sites or mirrors- this can be much trickier than you think as there are lots different versions and very little info apart from the file names. More than once I got half way through a 600mb download and realised that it was the wrong file.

The experience is all good if a little bit frustrating, it just seems that one can be too experienced in the wrong way to cope with some of the things Linux throws at you.

I still give Linux A for effort and C for application :thumbs:

Bonez
23-07-2007, 06:42 AM
There's a chap on Trademe who can provide most distros. Also linux threads pop up in their computer support forum quite a lot these days. Seems the word is getting around.

Myth
23-07-2007, 07:24 AM
There's a chap on Trademe who can provide most distros. Also linux threads pop up in their computer support forum quite a lot these days. Seems the word is getting around.Hopefully not the same guy I bought from. A few months after I got the dvds from him (through TradeMe) I got around to attempting an install from the SuSe disc I mentioned earlier, which failed.

I'm sure (if asked) some of the regs in here would download a distro (or generally you will find they already have it and are only too willing to copy it).

Obviously depends on their broadband caps though

Brooko
23-07-2007, 05:33 PM
Hi Aidan,

Windows or linux - a question that will always get you a lot of debate …..

First question – will linux run OK on your lap-top? I googled “acer aspire 3680 linux” and got plenty of hits – so a lot of people out there are using linux on one – so you should be good to go.

Now – as to some of the comments so far, and also your question on what to choose ….

Here’s what I did about 5 months ago - (mine’s a desktop rather than a laptop). First live cd trials, then dual boot, and about 2 weeks ago I said goodbye to Windows for good. XP has been a fine operating platform for me - but IMHO linux is better.

Check out the distros.
Start downloading live CDs so you can try them out. This gives you a feel for the linux desktop. More importantly, it can give you a good idea of whether the particular distro is going to work well with your hardware or not. I went to distrowatch, started at the top, checked which ones had a live cd, and started going through them one by one.

I think first try for me was Ubuntu and Kubuntu (tried both). Worked OK – generally found my hardware OK – found I preferred KDE over Gnome pretty quick. You’ll decide for yourself which one is best for you. Then went on to Suse, and although it was a very polished distro, I had a few hardware issues so carried on looking. I then tried PCLOS, Debian, Gentoo, Knoppix, and Mepis. I finally settled on Mepis because it is very stable with my hardware, it pretty much worked out of the box, and the forum (mepislovers) were super friendly and willing to help. One of the advantages for me as a newbie is that most things are achievable in GUI form, and also that you have the option of setting up the Nvidia drivers from the live CD + auto install of Beryl (3D desktop) if your graphic card is capable. I am now finding myself wanting to learn more about using the command line as I progress – and it’s not that hard – it just takes time.

Installing software is really easy via Synaptic (in fact a lot of distros use it now). And some of the other packet managers are pretty slick as well. I noted Shortcircuit’s difficulty with installing Wine (Wine is an amazing linux project front-end where you can run some windows programs including games etc inside the linux environment). On the Mepis forums we have a package sharing section where you can download a prepared deb file compiled especially for Mepis. Download, click to open kpackage, click on install, you’re done – installed - no hassles.

Now I’m naturally biased toward Mepis and it has been recommended (in quite a few reviews) for real newbies to linux as a good place to start. I also found PCLOS to be really good – but most important is for you to try the various CDs, see what works for your hardware, and what is your preference. Don’t forget to visit the forums before you choose – the community is an important part of the package. In the end, the decision is all yours. The beauty of linux is the freedom of choice.

Before I go – a couple more points.

Linux is not Windows, and too many people take one look, go ‘too hard’, ‘you need to be a geek’ etc. These are the same people who’ve spent ˝ a lifetime learning Windows but will not give themselves 2-3 solid months to give linux a decent chance. These are also usually the same people who will not ask for help. Don’t be put off by them – find out for yourself. Here (http://www.alandmoore.com/linux/files/from_windows_to_mepis.pdf) is a link to a pdf file written by one of the Mepislovers members "from windows to mepis". It’s an excellent read and I would encourage anybody considering linux to read it – even though it has a Mepis slant. It’ll give you a really good idea of some of the fundamental differences you can expect.

And a quick note to Winmacguy

…linux distros …. will always remain the the realm of tech nerds and software geeks

It is comments like this which propagate this myth. Linux is getting a lot better. Winmacguy - have you tried any of the live cds recently? Which ones? What do you base this statement on?

If my 71 year old father (who is equally lost in the Win environment) can operate a linux system set up properly for him, then I’d suggest long term that you’re wrong.

winmacguy
23-07-2007, 05:43 PM
And a quick note to Winmacguy


It is comments like this which propagate this myth. Linux is getting a lot better. Winmacguy - have you tried any of the live cds recently? Which ones? What do you base this statement on?

If my 71 year old father (who is equally lost in the Win environment) can operate a linux system set up properly for him, then I’d suggest long term that you’re wrong.

With Dell now shipping its PCs with pre installed Linux, that might help balance the situation a bit.

I have probably based my statement on what I have heard and read on forums as I am not a Linux user although I am in favour of its use. As you may or may not have picked up, I am a Mac user and have XP running in Parallels.

When I first read about Linux some 6-7 years ago, I was keen to try it on my PC but never got around to it. I am currently very happy with my iMac.

aidanmaz
23-07-2007, 06:58 PM
Thanks guys, sorry i havent answered, wow lots of info. I managed to find a friend how is quite well adjusted to Linux, Am goetting tutoring from him, and also many other tech ppl. Cheers, i have a spare machine which currently im downloading ubantu 7.0.4 Server, im going to fiddle with that

cheers

Bonez
23-07-2007, 07:12 PM
Thanks guys, sorry i havent answered, wow lots of info. I managed to find a friend how is quite well adjusted to Linux, Am goetting tutoring from him, and also many other tech ppl. Cheers, i have a spare machine which currently im downloading ubantu 7.0.4 Server, im going to fiddle with that

cheersGood on you. Having someone handy is a real advantage.

Erayd
23-07-2007, 08:04 PM
Thanks guys, sorry i havent answered, wow lots of info. I managed to find a friend how is quite well adjusted to Linux, Am goetting tutoring from him, and also many other tech ppl. Cheers, i have a spare machine which currently im downloading ubantu 7.0.4 Server, im going to fiddle with that

cheersGlad to hear you're taking a stab at it - good luck, and I hope you find the experience a positive one! :D

Shortcircuit
23-07-2007, 08:10 PM
Me too, I'll be rooting for you :thumbs: :D

Myth
23-07-2007, 08:13 PM
Thanks guys, sorry i havent answered, wow lots of info. I managed to find a friend how is quite well adjusted to Linux, Am goetting tutoring from him, and also many other tech ppl. Cheers, i have a spare machine which currently im downloading ubantu 7.0.4 Server, im going to fiddle with that

cheers

Good on you. Having someone handy is a real advantage.

Glad to hear you're taking a stab at it - good luck, and I hope you find the experience a positive one! :D... and remember, there are plenty of linux users on this forum who can, and will, help if you ask. But try things for yourself first, ask if you get stuck (preferably BEFORE you get annoyed)

aidanmaz
23-07-2007, 08:59 PM
ok first 15mins of installation and both me and my friend have no clue. On selecting the additional software to install,(since its the server edition (yeah not good starting point) i chose LAMP, and left out DNS) setup goes thru and gets to 85% it sits there for a good ten minutes then a black screen appears and it restarts the machine. it then says error loading operating system.....

I think maybe this shud go in another post but now i have typed it, it can go here, My belief my computer is too "new" (p4 3.6ghz HT, 1gb RAM ATi Radeon 9600, 200GB HDD, DVDRW DL)

Shortcircuit
23-07-2007, 09:37 PM
No, the Ubuntu version you have is up to date so your computer is not 'too new'.

When you were installing was there an option to use a 'standard' install?

You could download the MD5 checksums to make sure there are no errors in the installation file.

I would give it another try, sometimes these things have a mind of their own and it's just the way you hold your tongue.

aidanmaz
23-07-2007, 09:48 PM
an hour later......i tried again, i did not install any additional components, just left the core, still stops at 85%......i did also choose the option to verify the CD that was successful no errors im so not giving up......just gotta watch my 10gb xtra limit......im not touching the laptop just yet, i need at least one stable computer.....

johnd
23-07-2007, 09:51 PM
Linux is not Windows, and too many people take one look, go ‘too hard’, ‘you need to be a geek’ etc. These are the same people who’ve spent ˝ a lifetime learning Windows but will not give themselves 2-3 solid months to give linux a decent chance. These are also usually the same people who will not ask for help. Don’t be put off by them – find out for yourself.

I second this post!! I would hate people who have never tried Linux to be put off by what they read in this thread. If all you want to do is use Linux for "normal everyday work", then there is no issue. If you want to go further then be prepared to `invest` some well worth time - most people will end up not regretting this.

Shortcircuit
23-07-2007, 09:57 PM
an hour later......i tried again, i did not install any additional components, just left the core, still stops at 85%......i did also choose the option to verify the CD that was successful no errors im so not giving up......just gotta watch my 10gb xtra limit......im not touching the laptop just yet, i need at least one stable computer.....

I'm 100mb off my 10gig limit this month- thanks to Linux... no-one can say I didn't try :)

I know it's a pain, but you could try the following 1st:

Re-burn the ISO on a new disc and give that a go.

2nd: download the non-server version of Ubuntu.

3rd: If there's a DSE near you they have the latest Ubuntu CDs for sale around $10.00?

If that fails you might have to dstart looking at a different distro or your hardware. I could not get MandrivaLive Linux to install no matter what I tried, but others were no problem.

Jen
23-07-2007, 10:13 PM
an hour later......i tried again, i did not install any additional components, just left the core, still stops at 85%....How long did you leave it like that? Did it say what file or activity it was doing at this 85% mark?

You may also wish to start a new thread on this. :)

aidanmaz
23-07-2007, 10:24 PM
it stays like that for about ten minutes then the pc restarts. no hard drive activity once it hits 85% i re burnt the cd no change.

Shortcircuit
23-07-2007, 10:28 PM
The only info I can find about the black screen and 'opsys' not found is when trying to install Ubuntu as a dual boot with XP... Grub bootloader takes over Windows MBR.

You're not trying a dual install on the same drive are you?

aidanmaz
23-07-2007, 10:40 PM
no, blank 200gb seagate ide drive (tho ubantu says its scsi) i dont have scsi in this pc

Brooko
23-07-2007, 11:17 PM
Aidan.

Just my 2 cents again - but may save you some heartache in the long run.

Get a variety of live cds, try them first to see if the distros easily run with your hardware, then make your choice and go for an install. The beauty of a live cd is you boot off them, you play with them, but they don't touch your hard-drive until you decide you want to install.:thumbs:

If you want the latest Mepis 6.5.02 live CD's, (64 and 32), PM me, and I can arrange to get a copy burnt and sent to you (to save you bandwidth). Hopefully you may find others here who also could contribute. I could also get you fairly recent copies of Knoppix, PCLOS and Kubuntu Feisty.:)

Over to you. Also - why the server edition???

aidanmaz
24-07-2007, 12:32 AM
Aidan.

Just my 2 cents again - but may save you some heartache in the long run.

Get a variety of live cds, try them first to see if the distros easily run with your hardware, then make your choice and go for an install. The beauty of a live cd is you boot off them, you play with them, but they don't touch your hard-drive until you decide you want to install.:thumbs:

If you want the latest Mepis 6.5.02 live CD's, (64 and 32), PM me, and I can arrange to get a copy burnt and sent to you (to save you bandwidth). Hopefully you may find others here who also could contribute. I could also get you fairly recent copies of Knoppix, PCLOS and Kubuntu Feisty.:)

Over to you. Also - why the server edition???

thanks il consider that. why server edition.....for some really odd reason i like servers and this machine is so underused. (yes my parents go nuts) cheers for the offer, may get my dads work 2 download it

SurferJoe46
24-07-2007, 09:17 AM
Jen...just for fun, I think I'll try another Linux install with grub on a different Dell Dimension I'll dust off and get a new hdd for and after an XP install, I'll try Meppis.

Stay tuned...I hope I have learned something...prolly NOT..so I'll need a pointer or two

I just want to know what went right with the last Meppis install that I am using as a server for my home theater system.

I am just curious this time..and I'm NOT messing with the successful system on the other.

Brooko
24-07-2007, 09:31 AM
Jen...just for fun, I think I'll try another Linux install with grub on a different Dell Dimension I'll dust off and get a new hdd for and after an XP install, I'll try Meppis.


SJ - I'll look for your posts on MepisLovers forums then :D

Seriously though - it's a good place to go if you need any help with setting it up. :thumbs:

Shortcircuit
24-07-2007, 10:48 AM
Jen...just for fun, I think I'll try another Linux install with grub on a different Dell Dimension I'll dust off and get a new hdd for and after an XP install, I'll try Meppis.

Stay tuned...I hope I have learned something...prolly NOT..so I'll need a pointer or two

I just want to know what went right with the last Meppis install that I am using as a server for my home theater system.

I am just curious this time..and I'm NOT messing with the successful system on the other.

Nooooo... don't do it SJ, you know what will happen :stare: :D

Hhel
24-07-2007, 10:15 PM
I have found no trouble with the person who advertises Linux distros on Trademe. I have bought several from him - he sends them Post Free.

For a couple of years, I stuck with Xandros in its various versions up to Xandros 4.1 OCE. However, I must say that I have found PCLinuxOS 2007 version to be very easy to run as a live CD and then install. Been having a look at Klikit recently - there seems to be quite a bit of interest in that offshoot of Kubuntu in the Xandros and PCLinuxOS forums. Xandros now doesn't get used at all.

If this 67 year old can set up and use something like PCLOS and not have to worry about the command line, then why not have a go? Admittedly, it was one of my retirement projects to come to terms with Linux. I now feel confident enough to find my way around most of the distros that I have tried. Windows went into the broken glass bin in September 2005:lol:

Jim